Scientists who closely analyzed and compared virus samples from several poultry species in China found more clues about how the new H7N9 virus, along with a previously unknown H7N7 virus that has the capacity to infect mammals, evolved.The findings shed new light on the threat H7 viruses might pose beyond China’s latest outbreak, according to the findings reported today by an international research team led by Yi Guan, MD, PhD, a virologist at Hong Kong University. The group’s report appears in the latest issue of Nature.Soon after news of the first human infections with the new H7N9 virus emerged last spring, investigators started sampling birds in three Chinese cities: two (Wenzhou and Rizhao) that bordered the main outbreak area in Zhejiang and Shandong provinces, respectively, and one (Shenzhen) in Guangdong province, which had not reported a human case.They collected 1,341 pairs of oropharyngeal and cloacal samples from chickens, ducks, geese, pigeons, partridges, and quail. The team collected 1,006 more fecal and water samples from live poultry markets, farms, and wetlands.Virus findingsEvidence of hemagglutinin was found in 388 samples, including 60 H7 and 85 H9 influenza A viruses. All H9 isolates were H9N2, and most were from live poultry markets.The H7 viruses were found only in the samples from live poultry markets in Wenzhou and Rizhao; all from Rizhao were H7N9 and all from Wenzhou were H7N7, except for two from ducks that were H7N2 and H7N3.In Wenzhou’s poultry markets, H7 viruses were most prevalent in chickens, followed by ducks and pigeons. In Rizhao’s poultry markets, the H7N9 virus was found only in chickens.When researchers looked at the chicken isolates, most of the H7N9 and H9N2 viruses were from oropharyngeal swabs, as were more than half (65%) of H7N7 viruses, which hints that H7N9 and H7N7 might replicate in poultry upper airways, similar to H9N2 viruses that circulate in the region’s poultry.Evolution, clues to infectious potentialTo explore how those viruses evolved, the researchers sequenced the H7N9, H7N7, and H9N2 isolates and compared them with other strains that had been collected in southern China since 2000.The analysis revealed that H7 viruses likely passed from domestic ducks to chickens in China at least two separate times. Also, the group found that the H7 viruses reassorted with H9N2 viruses circulating in poultry to produce the H7N9 outbreak strain along with the related and previously undetected H7N7 strain.An analysis of the new H7N7 virus found that it has only some of the molecular markers seen in human H7N9 isolates, but the group thought it might still have the ability to infect humans or mammals.Experiments in which ferrets were exposed to H7N7 showed that the virus caused significant infection, but virus shedding was lower than seen for the 2009 H1N1 virus or H7N9.The group concluded that domestic ducks seem to be a key mixing vessel for a variety of avian influenza viruses from migratory birds and can transmit the different combinations to chickens. They further concluded that reassortment with H9N2 circulating in poultry probably led to the H7N9 and H7N7 viruses they found in chickens.The new H7N9 virus rapidly spread though poultry markets, leading to spillover into humans. The group wrote that the drop in human cases after poultry market closures, similar to what occurred in Hong Kong in 1997 after H5N1 emerged, supports the theory.Their detection in Wenzhou chickens of the new H7N7 virus with the potential to infect mammals suggests that the current pandemic threat extends beyond the H7N9 virus, the team wrote.It’s too soon to know if H7N9 has been eradicated from poultry in the region, and it’s possible that the H7N9 and H7N7 are still circulating in poultry, according to the investigators. They state that controlling the viruses will hinge on the management of live poultry markets in urban areas.Expert weighs study implicationsLes Sims, BVSc, an animal health consultant in Australia who has extensive experience with avian influenza in Asia, told CIDRAP News that overall, the study is a good summary of the state of play on the probable origins of the genes in the recently emerged H7N9 viruses. The extent of the H7N7 risk to humans is unknown, but it’s important to identify where the virus is circulating, he said.Animal health experts have known for some time that H7 viruses are present in both wild and domestic ducks, Sims said. “The production and marketing systems in China prior to the H7N9 outbreak afforded ample opportunities for these viruses to infect terrestrial poultry and undergo reassortment with H9N2 viruses, which are also widespread in farms and markets.”So it is not surprising that the viruses in terrestrial poultry are related to and probably derived from those ducks or that there has been more than one introduction,” he said.The findings in Rizhao in Shandong province were more than 100 kilometers from the nearest human and avian cases in the province, which may mean the virus was more widespread in poultry than official surveillance and disease investigations suggest, he said.The absence of the virus from Shenzhen tracks with test results from Hong Kong on mainland and local poultry, Sims indicated, but the virus must have been circulating recently in southern Guangdong province, based on the announcement of a human case in a poultry market worker earlier this month.The prevalence of H7N9 in the Rizhao samples was low at 0.7% of samples, Sims noted, adding that surveillance activities in markets can miss positive birds if only a small number of samples are collected—”which was not the case in this study.”Meanwhile, the high prevalence of H7N7 in the Wenzhou market and the fact that it wasn’t detected anywhere else is intriguing, according to Sims. If the virus is circulating widely in terrestrial poultry, it will complicate H7 serology to some extent,he said. “However as all H7 viruses fall under the category of notifiable avian influenza, it will be necessary to investigate any positive results through additional virological and serological testing of the positive flocks and other flocks on the same farm.”Lam T T-Y, Wang J, Shen Y, et al. The genesis and source of the H7N9 influenza virus causing human infections in China. Nature 2013 (published online Aug 21) [Abstract]See also:Aug 21 NIH press release
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray LujánFrom the Office of U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján:NAMBÉ – Today, U.S. House Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) participated in a remote hearing of the House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Energy focused on the importance of promoting clean energy and building a strong and resilient economy. The hearing considered three bills led by Luján to spur innovation and promote entrepreneurship and small business partnerships with National Laboratories.“While all of us represent constituents, who are struggling to make ends meet, to pay rent, and provide for their families, I am encouraged by the increased attention on putting people back to work by building a more sustainable and resilient economy. The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear the role that our scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and innovators play in addressing our nation’s most pressing challenges,” said Luján, co-chair of the Congressional National Labs Caucus. Luján continued: “I am proud of New Mexico’s contribution to our research mission, led by two world-class National Laboratories, Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs. Acting on these bills today means that more ideas and innovations, from our best and brightest scientists, will make it into markets, provide jobs, and improve our quality of life.”Video of the hearing is available here.The Energizing Technology Transfer Act would drive clean energy technology commercialization nationally and at the National Laboratories across the Department of Energy, and includes the following bills introduced by Luján:The Leveraging our National Labs to Develop Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders Act would strengthen the Department of Energy’s Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program, which utilizes national laboratories to train and develop the next generation of tech entrepreneurs to meet the challenges and needs facing our communities. The Promoting Small Business Innovation through Partnerships with National Labs Act would allow small businesses to gain access to premiere facilities at the National Laboratories, spurring innovation and stimulating the culture of private-public collaboration.The hearing also featured Luján’s bipartisan IMPACT for Energy Act, which would establish a nonprofit foundation for the U.S. Department of Energy that would channel private-sector investments and accelerate the commercialization of innovative technologies in energy.
The data is from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, via the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Auto and light truck sales continued their rebound in September, when sales were 16.34 million at a seasonally adjusted annual rate. That compares to last September, when they were 17.08 million, and this April when they were 8.71 million. At least for now, the sales rebound has compressed into a couple of months what took a couple of years after the 2008-‘09 recession. OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Inland Truck Parts Co., an independent provider of parts distribution and full-service truck repair, has promoted Greg Klein to president effective Jan. 1, 2015. Dave Scheer will remain CEO. Klein will be responsible for Inland’s strategic execution and will lead the company’s operations. A seasoned executive, he joined Inland as CFO in 1995 and was promoted to vice president in 2008. Both Scheer and Klein are longtime members of Inland’s board of directors.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement“Greg knows Inland extremely well. His long tenure on our leadership team has more than prepared him for this promotion,” said Scheer. “As president, his continued dedication and commitment to our stakeholders will only make Inland stronger.“Ownership here is 100 percent in the hands of our employees,” Scheer explained. “The president has a responsibility to ensure that each of our employee-owners is a top priority. After all, they are the ones who make things happen. No one understands that better than Greg.”In addition to his role at Inland, Klein is the immediate past chairman of the Employee-Owned S Corporations of America (ESCA), where he works locally and in the nation’s capital to educate lawmakers on the importance and positive effects of employee ownership.“Inland is a very special company, one that I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of for over 40 years,” said Scheer. “I’m certain that promoting Greg to president is the right move to continue our success.”Established in 1944, Inland Truck Parts Co. is celebrating its 70th year, with 28 locations in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.,This “Data Did You Know” item comes from Babcox Media Audience Insights Manager Bruce Kratofil:AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement
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That would certainly be welcome news for project forwarders and heavy lift shipping lines that increasingly see the alternative energy sector as a prime source of cargo going forwards.But those numbers have been challenged as “overly optimistic” by a coal industry group, which noted that half the nation’s electricity currently comes from coal-fired power plants.Backtracking slightly, a spokesman for Salazar is reported to have said that the secretary does not expect wind power to be fully developed, but was speaking of its total potential if it were.According to the reports, Salazar suggested that ocean winds along the East Coast can generate one million megawatts of power, roughly the equivalent of 3,000 medium-sized coal-fired power plants, but he did not reveal how many windmills might be needed to generate so much power.
Entrec will continue to provide specialised heavy haul transportation services throughout Western Canada.Entrec’s operations will also be focused on, among other services, providing a full spectrum of crane and heavy haul transportation services in the USA through its locations in North Dakota, Colorado, Texas and Wyoming.Through its investment in ENT Oilfield Group and Capstan Hauling, Entrec will continue to provide oilfield transportation and picker truck services throughout Alberta and northeast British Columbia.www.entrec.com
EUROPE: SNCF President Guillaume Pepy and SBB Chief Executive Officer Andreas Meyer signed an agreement on February 16 to step up the frequency and quality of services between France and Switzerland operated by TGV Lyria. The jointly-owned subsidiary will be allocated a fleet of 19 dedicated TGV POS trainsets, for which SBB will contribute SFr100m.Following the rerouting of Paris – Genève TGV services via the Haut-Bugey line in December 2010, Paris – Basel services are to accelerated in December 2011 when they will be routed via LGV Rhin-Rhône, giving a fastest timing of 3 h 3 min, 24 min faster than the present best. The number of weekday services will rise from five each way to six. SBB and SNCF said on February 16 that timings between Swiss cities and the French capital are to be cut to less than 3 h in the medium term. Plans are also being drawn up to add expand the number of destinations served by TGV Lyria. During 2010 TGV Lyria carried 4 million passengers, of which 2?3 million were making international journeys. Turnover increased by 17% over 2009 to reach SFr340m.
EGYPT: Spanish state-owned engineering consultancy Ineco announced on May 27 that it is to carry out a feasibility study for building a high speed line between Cairo and Luxor.According to Ineco, this 600 km route between the country’s two principal cities would be major addition to Egypt’s tourist infrastructure.A delegation headed by Ineco President Jesús Silva recently met with Egyptian Transport Minister Hany Dahy and other officials. Transport projects currently under development also include lines 4, 5 and 6 of the Cairo metro as well as the Alexandria metro.
Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive Plant has obtained certification for the use of its DTK-417K traction motors in the Eurasian Customs Union countries. Designed for use on TMH Bryansk type 2TE25KM, TEM18DM and 3TE25K2M diesel locomotives, these will replace motors previously imported from Ukraine.The Greenbrier Companies received orders for 700 wagons worth $50m in Q2 to February 28 2017, when its backlog stood at 22 600 vehicles worth $2·44bn. ‘We are focused on our two-part strategy to protect and enhance core North American businesses during this time of market inconstancy while we also expand internationally in targeted regions that offer promising growth opportunities’, said Chairman & CEO William A Furman on April 5. ‘We are encouraged by the upward trend in rail traffic, order activity in our current quarter, and earnings contribution from our activities in international markets.’ Swiss Federal Railways has become the eighth member of the Railsponsible sustainable procurement initiative. Politechnika Warszawska is the fifth Polish institution to be approved to provide type approval and conformity certification services.Wireless technology companies Lilee Systems and Fluidmash are to collaborate to offer high bandwidth train to ground data communication links.Praybourne has adopted Pulsar as the sole brand for its range of hi-visibility, flame resistant, thermal and other protective clothing.Solar power producer Azure Power has won a contract to provide roof-top electricity generation across the Indian Railways network and at the Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala. The company recently completed the first phase of a similar project with Delhi Metro Rail Corp.Vibration protection company Getzner Werkstoffe reports that 2016 was a successful year, with turnover up from €77·9m in 2015 to €80·4m in 2016. Highlights of the year included the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel with custom-designed Getzner vibration protection, and the launch Sylomer aluminium vibration-damping elastic floating floors for rolling stock.
LocalNewsPolitics Parliament to consider amendment to Registration of Electors Act by: Dominica Vibes News – May 22, 2017 Share Sharing is caring! Share Tweet Share 289 Views no discussions Attorney General Levi Peter (Photo Credit: OPM)When the Third Meeting of the Second Session of the Ninth Parliament under the Commonwealth of Dominica Constitution convenes at the House of Assembly tomorrow, Tuesday 23 May 2017, one of the bills scheduled to go through Second and Third Readings is a Bill to Amend Registration of Electors Act 2017. Attorney General Levi Peter sought to explain the part of the amendment, Confirmation of Registration of Electors, during a town hall meeting in Goodwill on Thursday 18 May 2017 as the amendment as according to him it is “causing some challenge or difficulty to some members of our society”.The Bill seeks to amend the Act with the insertion of a new section Part III. The section to be amended on the Order Paper for Tuesday’s sitting of Parliament which falls under the heading Part III Confirmation of Registration of Electors is as follows:30. (1) Subject to section 31(2), the Commission may, by Order published in the Gazette, declare a registration period during which each person registered as an elector for a polling district at the commencement of the registration period shall be required to confirm his registration and be issued with a national identification card in the manner prescribed. (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the register of electors, annual list and revised annual lists and revised annual lists published for each polling district under section 15 immediately prior to the commencement of the registration period, shall-(a) Continue to apply until a new register is published pursuant to section 31; and(b) Be used as the official record for the purpose of confirming the registration of electors and issuing national identification cards to electors under this Act. (3) The Commission may, by Order, extend the period referred to in subsection (1). 31. (1) In order to facilitate the confirmation in accordance with the Part of persons residing overseas, the office of any mission or embassy of the State or any other place approved by the Commission, may be designated as a registration office, and the registering, enrollment officer and assistant registering officer shall be appointed under the direction of the Chief Registration Officer for that purpose. (2) In an Order under section 30(1) the Commission shall specify the designated registration offices for the purposes of subsection (1). (3) A person who has confirmed his registration in accordance with this Act shall be issued with a national identification card in the same manner as if the confirmation had taken place within the State”. Peter explained, “In essence all that is, is if you imagine that you are registered let’s say in Roseau North and you decide to travel to Guadeloupe, to the United States, United Kingdom, other parts of Europe wherever, and you remain there for work and for other purposes and for…whatever the period may be, do you take the view that you should not be able to vote in Dominica?…In my view you are a Dominican citizen, you are and should be entitled to vote.”The amendment, he said, simply provides a registered voter the continued entitlement to vote provided that they have not been out of Dominica for more than five years. “I believe that you are entitled and should continue to be entitled to vote.”The Attorney General added that this is contrary to what is being suggested as “an attack on democracy” and is in fact “bolstering democracy” by ensuring that every citizen has the opportunity to vote if they wish to exercise that right. The Attorney General said in terms of the registration process, government is satisfied that the proposed changes in the amendment to the Registration of Electors Act are “changes which clarify and better or improve the existing legislation”.Under the heading Objects and Reasons, which accompany the Bill and all bills, it says this ‘This Bill seeks to amend and improve the Registration of Elector’s Act Chapter 203 namely the Act’. “So l would say, in so far as the Registration of Elector’s Act is concerned, you can be confident that your government has no intention of disenfranchising anybody, of attacking the democratic process, of undermining the democratic process, or in any way acting in a manner that is inappropriate and I can assure you that this government has not done so and will not do so,” Peter stated.